With the proposed land acquisition, the corridor will be widened by 200-300 metres along along 1.5 km to facilitate free movement of elephants. The plan has a potential to provide unhindered habitat connectivity for more than 2,000 elephants directly.
The move will benefit around 2,000 elephants. The Forest Department felt the widening of the elephant corridor not only provides free passage to elephants but also bails out around 5 lakh families affected by man-animal conflict. Keen on protecting wildlife habitats, the WTI had, in 2005, identified 88 elephant corridors across India’s elephant range states, working in collaboration with a team of experienced researchers, forest officials and NGOs.
Though five corridors like Edayarhalli-Doddasampige (Karnataka), Siju-Rewak (Meghalaya), Rewak-Emangre (Meghalaya), Thirunelli-Kudrakote (Kerala) and Chilla-Motichur (Uttarakhand) have already been secured with the support of stakeholders, the WTI that purchased 25.5 acres in Doddasampige in 2003 had transferred the land in 2009.
“The Mudahalli Corridor, with its small but vital piece of land, is all the elephants have to pass between two key tiger reserves— BRT and Sathyamangalam,” said Sandeep Tiwari of the IUCN-Asian Elephant Specialist Group, India.
He said the efforts of WTI and the Karnataka Forest Department to secure and widen the corridor needs urgent support.